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Recording Active near field monitors....your choice?

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
Hi all,

I have spoken with Chris a lot about home recording recently and gained many tips so massive thanks Chris!

One of the things I am lacking is a pair of studio monitors. All my recordings have had to be tested through a bose iPod dock (yeah! I know.....) then burned to disc and transported around a few different hi-fi's/car stereos e.t.c. to see what I need to do to get a better result. Then I return to the software and tweak it all and the whole transporting process starts over again.
It could go on and on...eventually I have to draw a line under it and sometimes the result is good enough for me and sometimes its not!
Either way its a very time consuming method and i'm ready to move on.

Really I'd like to stay under £200 but also drawn to the yamaha HS50's which is a lot more for a pair.
Any recommendations?

Thanks!!
 

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
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Really I'd like to stay under £200 but also drawn to the yamaha HS50's which is a lot more for a pair.
Any recommendations?

Thanks!!
HS50's to much money and poor bass response.Depending on which review you read.. M-Audio BX5a or whatever is M-Audio's new version. Plus they come in pairs..:thumb:

Chris..
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,093
I've got a set of Prodipe (Pro5) Bi-Amp Monitors (not the ribbon ones). I quickly realised my room acoustics weren't ever going to be amazing so I ended up going for what sounded best at a reasonable price (sub £200). The Prodipe's have serve me well for the last five years and a huge step up from standard computer monitors.

Best of luck with your search, if you can, go somewhere where you can audition them, I did and took along a track I knew well so that I could compare the speakers.

All the best,

Chris
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
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1,932
Thank you both......

I'll check them out.
I haven't got a clue where I could audition them first though.......
 

Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
397
@Saxlicker: Do you have a dv247 store nearby? Last I visited the high barnet branch, there was alot of speakers in a room to audition.

I've heard Yamaha MSP5s in the flesh, but at a friend's place. They sound good to my ears. I think they may be above your budget? Another alternative I'm thinking off are Equator D5s? Most likely I'll want to tame the comb filtering issue in my room before I get monitors. Grr.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
@Saxlicker: Do you have a dv247 store nearby? Last I visited the high barnet branch, there was alot of speakers in a room to audition.

I've heard Yamaha MSP5s in the flesh, but at a friend's place. They sound good to my ears. I think they may be above your budget? Another alternative I'm thinking off are Equator D5s? Most likely I'll want to tame the comb filtering issue in my room before I get monitors. Grr.
Thanks for that...
There is a DV247 near me I will explore that option.
 
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Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
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I have to say that unless your room has had proper acoustic treatment, you could still be stuffed whether your nearfields are £200 or £2000.

When I moved to my new studio a few years back, even with expensive Genelec nearfields, I suddenly found that everything was A over T.

I solved it not by very expensive room treatment, but by getting speakers with Room Correction, in this case JBL LSR4328P.

These emit a signal which you record with the mic, and the speakers compensate for any anomalies in the room, giving you extremely accurate monitoring.
 
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Saxlicker

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Messages
1,932
Thanks for the info Pete.
Based on your experience of everything becoming A over T ...
Are you saying maybe too much is made of the accuracy of monitors over Hi-fi speakers in rooms that are non acousticly set up?
Or
do you mean that once you have got at least some kind of studio monitors, you dont necessarily get improved results from expensive and well reputed monitors with out acoustic treatment on a room/adding correction?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
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13,979
Thanks for the info Pete.
Based on your experience of everything becoming A over T ...
Are you saying maybe too much is made of the accuracy of monitors over Hi-fi speakers in rooms that are non acousticly set up?
Or
do you mean that once you have got at least some kind of studio monitors, you dont necessarily get improved results from expensive and well reputed monitors with out acoustic treatment on a room/adding correction?
Yes. You seem to be saying the same thing with both of those questions.

Although if you are lucky, some rooms are much better than others. My previous studio control room was actually reasonably good, though i did spend some money on an acoustic expert consultant.

My current room would have needed a lot more, it had, or rather it has, an enormous peak at around the bottom end of a tenor so much that mixing prominent saxophone stuff was very difficult, and the cure for the room would have been very expensive and space taking.

Then I found out about the JBL system.

What I'm trying to say is it's worth finding out how much of a problem your room is or isn't before spending money on monitors.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
Yes. You seem to be saying the same thing with both those questions
:) :)

What I'm trying to say is it's worth finding out how much of a problem your room is or isn't before spending money on monitors.
Yeah the distinction I was trying to make was whether your observation meant you wouldn't neccesarily bother with monitors at all
Or
whether you'd recommend getting some anyway but don't expect huge improvement beyond entry level with out doing everything else in the room to a high standard.

I understand now you think it's possible that in some rooms monitors may not improve anything over say.....a book shelf hi fi speaker for example.
Gotcha!
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
Today I auditioned the only 2 pairs of monitors under £300 at DV247.
Its a shame that they really never have too much in stock (i've always found this to be the case).
Anyway, there were no prodipe and no M audio :shrug:

They had the KRK Rokit RP 5 & the Yamaha HS 50's.
On the web, the KRK's pop up everywhere and seem very well received. The yamaha reviews are less widespread and definitely split into 2 camps.

On first impression the KRK's flattered my own mixes and professional recordings in comparison to the yamahas especially as considering I was expecting a flat sound.
I was nearly carried away by this and switching from A to B in a fraction of a second on the shop set up was a handy thing. It also emphasised a big difference in weight of sound as well as volume. I was puzzled by why this should be. Then leaving the yamahas on in isolation for a few minutes, the balance of frequency seemed to return to a really good overall proportion again. Switch back to the KRK's and BANG! much more impressive.

At this point I discovered that a volume control on the back of of the KRK was on max.....
I explored further and the yams were flat. This was disappointing to discover when the salesman should really have put everything on a level playing field.
Still, after turning them down with all things as even as possible the impressive weight had disappeared and it wont come as a surprise that the KRK's were still exhibiting more low end than the yams.
However all of a sudden it was the yamaha's carrying far more detail and separation without suffering hugely against the KRK's in the low end.

I have concluded that between these 2, I would buy the yamahas but I don't think my search is over yet.
Back to the 2 yamaha camps for a moment, camp 1 says the lack of bass is not capable of being true at that end.
Camp 2 says if your mix gets adequate bass response you have enough in your mix.
All subjective to the very last as usual!!!!! and comes down to what you want to work with, what you want to hear and how well you know and compensate for your monitors blind spots.

This article sums it up nicely I think.
http://www.tweakheadz.com/studio_monitors.htm
 

Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
397
Saxlicker, I also auditioned a pair of monitors today, HS50Ms and MSP5s... HS50s have really no bass that I could hear... but I thought they had really detailed mids. The MSP5s had a good amount of bass, but overall had a smoother quality to my ears. The shop assistant then engaged the SW10 subfoofer. Damn. Makes a really big difference.

After reading your links and pete's stuff I'm kinda uncertain how I wanna go next. Also, the HS50s at Chappels Of Bond Street is £129 with vat - their stuff is actually cheaper in person vs their website. I need to save up for stands cables and isolation pads too...

@Pete: How can one determine the issues with the room? I actually have no proper speakers (apart from my laptop) - and mix purely on my headphones with a focusrite vrm box. I have trouble getting right levels between tracks in my mixes. Oh another question: the JBLs appear to fix room modes, do they help with acoustic nulls and flutter echos? (I have the latter in my room - and pretty sure some heavy comb filtering.)
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
For my sins ......

Oh Chris please forgive me :ashamed
I went with the Yamaha's
The reasons were,
I never had a chance to hear anything other than the KRK and Yams in my price bracket despite my best attempts.
The KRK's just flattered my mixes yet I know they are not up to scratch. Some are better than others but room for improvement most of the time.
The Yamaha's revealed more and notably in the places I expected.
Also I wasn't going to buy anything I couldn't try so that narrowed it down considerably!!!!.
Early doors but I'm happy so far having had only a very quick mess around and I will now just get on and learn them...
 

aardvark

New Member
Messages
22
Recently bought a pair of M-Audio BX5 D2 studio monitors (under £200 for the pair). Very pleased with them. Haven't yet used them to record saxophone but have recorded soft synths etc and been very happy with results. I was initially put off by some reviews which criticised them for being too directional and not having a overly strong bass - but this is (of course) exactly how nearfield monitors should be, so you can really hear and adjust the mix (when positioned correctly). People really shouldn't be trying to use them as hi-fi speakers in their living room! Horses for courses, and all that....
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,979
Recently bought a pair of M-Audio BX5 D2 studio monitors (under £200 for the pair). Very pleased with them. Haven't yet used them to record saxophone but have recorded soft synths etc and been very happy with results. I was initially put off by some reviews which criticised them for being too directional and not having a overly strong bass - but this is (of course) exactly how nearfield monitors should be, so you can really hear and adjust the mix (when positioned correctly). People really shouldn't be trying to use them as hi-fi speakers in their living room! Horses for courses, and all that....
It's also unrealistic to expect very accurate bass response in a home studio, you just need to get used to the monitors and mix accordingly, then double check on many other system.
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,093
Good choice, they have a great reputation and good after sales support should you ever need it. I've heard they make a fine saxophone too :thumb: (anyone know why this guy is blue when the rest are yellow?)

I need to sort out some closed headphones for recording, the vinyl ear covers on my Beyer DT150's reacted to a friends aftershave and sort of melted! Now I'm caught between spending £25 for replacement ear pads or putting the money towards a new pair of headphones, maybe Sennheisers.

Hope your new monitors help you with your mixing, and I look to hear some more of your recordings.

Best wishes,
Chris
 
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aardvark

New Member
Messages
22
Good choice, they have a great reputation and good after sales support should you ever need it. I've heard they make a fine saxophone too :thumb: (anyone know why this guy is blue when the rest are yellow?)

I need to sort out some closed headphones for recording, the vinyl ear covers on my Beyer DT150's reacted to a friends aftershave and sort of melted! Now I'm caught between spending £25 for replacement ear pads or putting the money towards a new pair of headphones, maybe Sennheisers.

Hope your new monitors help you with your mixing, and I look to hear some more of your recordings.

Best wishes,
Chris
Thanks Chris. I use Sennheiser folding headphones for everything: monitoring recording, listening to MP3 player, listening to CD's on a Walkman when relaxing in the garden (roll on Summer - and not the English version!). I love 'em - great sound, very light weight - brilliant!
I may post some clips later, when I know what I'm doing.... :thumb:
 
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